Pattern Testing – The Kyoto Kimono

Kyoto Kimono by Elise Patterns
Kyoto Kimono by Elise Patterns

I was a very busy sewist last month, I volunteered to be a pattern tester for 3 indie pattern companies, and I got the most amazing stuff to test!  This kimono is by a brand new company, Elise Patterns.  Elise Patterns is owned by Freya from Handmade by Freya.  She has set out to create pretty lingerie patterns that are uncomplicated to make, and fabulous to wear!  Her first two patterns are available now, and this is one of them.

DSC08543-1The jacket, or robe, is available in two lengths, this short version and a more lingerie type mid-thigh length.  There are also two sleeve choices.  I decided to go with the shorter version, knowing Daughter No2 would probably want it more for day wear than lingerie!  I ferreted around in my stash until I found this pretty cotton floral lawn.  I’ve had it for ages, but once I saw the line drawings of Freya’s pattern, I pictured it in this with contrast bands.  They’re cut from some black cotton lawn, also from the stash.

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The pattern itself is really easy to follow and make.  I would certainly recommend it to anyone from beginner level up.  I chose to French seam the inners, and the contrast bands have had their seams all tucked away too, so when this flips open in the breeze, it’s just as pretty on the inside as on the out.

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Daughter No2 loves it – she wore it out to a friend’s barbeque the day I made it (see photo above) with her chopped off jeans and came home with orders!!!  Ha!  This selfish seamstress isn’t about to do that, but now the pattern is available, I shall be sending her mates to the website & including a note to come to one of my sewing classes to make it up!  She has decided it is perfect for festival wear and I know it has pride of honour at the top of her list of things to pack for the Reading & Leeds Festival later this summer.

DSC08540-1It really is a great pattern, there are only two main pieces, the front & back, and the band strips.  If you were to make it for lingerie, consider cutting the sleeve bands on the bias and then finishing with a scalloped edge using a fancy stitch on your sewing machine.  There are so many ways you could customise this kimono, I think the varieties could look amazing!

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I’m looking forward to seeing this pattern pop up all over Blogland, it has great potential!

 

 

Pattern Testing – The Honeydew Skirt

Honeydew Skirt from Seamster Patterns
Honeydew Skirt from Seamster Patterns

About a month ago, Mari from Seamster Patterns was looking for beginner sewists in small sizes to test her new skirt pattern.  I immediately offered up Daughters 1 & 2 for the job.  The size Mari needed to be tested was perfect for Daughter No1, so she got the job over the Easter holidays.  We rumaged through the stash and found a piece I’d bought about 3 years or so ago – perfect.

DSC07987-1The skirt has an A-Line shape, consisting of a single front panel cut on the fold & 3 panels in the back, fuller and longer than the front.  It also has in-seam pockets.  I love fullness in the back of a skirt, it’s really feminine.  There are a choice of 3 waistbands, and the skirt can be worn on the hip or the natural waist, depending on which waistband you choose.  Daughter No1 likes to wear things low, so she chose option C with the overlapping font waistband.

DSC07986-1The pattern was easy to trace out, and the instructions great for a beginner to follow.  I hovered over her shoulder to help out where needed, but Daughter No1 did ok. We made no changes to the patern, apart from the hem.  With this crisp fabric and the width of the hem, it was not going to be a neat finish, so I suggested cutting off all but 1cm and attaching a wide bias binding.  We turned the binding to the inside and I hemmed it with herringbone stitch.  This means that with the slight drop at the back that you get a glimpse now and then of the dark blue bias, which we rather like.

I like the finished skirt, it looks fantastic & I also like seeing her in a slightly longer skirt than she normally wears!  However, she would have prefered it to have been about 15 to 20cm shorter.  Not that she won’t ever wear it like this, it just makes her feel “too mature”.  I think that means – old.  Ha!  She’s in her 20s now, she’d better get used to that feeling!  🙂

I love the fullness in the back panels.
I love the fullness in the back panels.

She has said it would be perfect for going out with Boyfriend & his family, or for a summer barbeque where most of the attendees would be older than her.  Daughter No2 of course, loves it and would happily have grabbed it for herself – but it doesn’t fit!  Now one thing about fabric choice with this skirt.  You must choose something with stretch.  This stretch cotton was fine, but for Daughter No2 to steal it we’d have had to put a zip in the side seam, it just will not go over her hips.  Another factor to consider is the drape of the fabric.  The cotton we dug out of the stash was rather crisp and didn’t drape as well as it could have in the back.

DSC07995-1So would I recommend this pattern?  YES!  It is called the Honeydew Skirt & is available as a PDF in a large scale format so you don’t need to paste together all those pesky A4s, or, if you’re a sucker for punishment, that option is still available.  There is also a paper pattern in the works, see Seamster Pattern‘s website for more details.  Thanks Mari, for letting us test another of your patterns,

I’d like to make this pattern myself, one for Daughter No2 and another for Daughter No1, but shorter, and see if she’s happier with it.  Now, I wonder if I can claim this as an entry for #SewingIndieMonth??